What is Littleton Equine Medical Center’s Biosecurity Protocol for ICU and Isolation?

ICUbarnDoors     Biosecurity  protocols are intended to protect the equine patient against infectious disease or harmful biological agents. We recognize that our hospitalized patients are more at risk for catching or shedding infectious agents, so we take extra precautions for their safety.

Here at Littleton Equine Medical Center, we use a color system to organize our patients from low risk to high risk. Every patient in our ICU and Isolation Barns have their own water buckets, feed pans, manure picks, halter, lead rope, brushes, etc. Upon discharge, every stall and stall items will be cleaned following our strict cleaning protocols.

The protocol for how those patients are handled depends on their biosecurity status. Each stall in ICU and Isolation are properly disinfected upon the patient’s discharge.


Green Status Yellow Status Red Status
Patients with a “green” status will have a normal white blood cell count, normal temperature, and normal feces.   Our Veterinary Technicians will enter the stall with their designated ICU footwear, and will wash their hands after handling the patient. Patients with a “yellow” status are those with one of the following: fever, low white blood cell count, diarrhea, respiratory issues, suspect gastrointestinal pathogen, or a foal less than 4 months of age.   Our Veterinary Technicians will still wear their designated footwear, but will put plastic booties on over those shoes while in that patient’s stall. They will also wear gloves while handling the patient and their items as well as step in a Accel footbath prior to entering and exiting the stall. A “red” horse has two or more of the following: fever, low white blood cell count, diarrhea, or tested positive for an infectious pathogen. Horses that are designated as a “red” patient will be in our Isolation stalls.   Our Veterinary Technicians follow a strict protocol that includes wearing gloves, booties, gowns or coveralls when in the stall and they walk through a series of Accel footbaths when approaching the stall and leaving the Isolation area. Anything that cannot be sterilized upon that patient’s dismissal is thrown away.